Protect Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself: How to Celebrate National Cyber Security Awareness Month

1:53 PM October 23, 2014

Happy National Cyber Security Awareness Month! It may not sound as sexy or cool as National Ice Cream Month (July), or National Jazz Appreciation Month (April), but cyber security is just as, if not more, important. In fact, Cyber Security Awareness Month is the only national awareness month out of the aforementioned that is administered and promoted by the Department of Homeland Security. Sound important yet? It should. Although we all use the internet, few of us take the time to make sure our connections are secure, our information is safe and our assets are protected. Well, this month is the time to do it. 

The Department of Homeland Security, along with the National Cyber Security Alliance, has outlined a number of topics to consider this month. Among them is the secure development of IT products, critical infrastructure and the internet of things, cyber crime and law enforcement, and cyber security for small and medium sized business and entrepreneurs. For your convenience, the DHS has even outlined tips for insuring cyber security for small and medium sized businesses, as follows:
  • Use and regularly update anti-virus and anti-spyware software on all computers; automate patch deployments across your organization to protect against vulnerabilities. 
  • Secure your internet connection by using a firewall, encrypting information, and hiding your Wi-Fi network. 
  • Establish security practices and policies to protect sensitive information; educate employees about cyber threats and how to protect your organizations data and hold them accountable to the Internet security policies and procedures.
  • Require that employees use strong passwords and regularly change them.
  • Invest in data loss protection software for your network and use encryption technologies to protect data in transit.
  • Protect all pages on your public facing websites, not just the checkout and sign up pages. 
Although these tips are crucial, they are just the beginning. Small and medium sized businesses are especially vulnerable to cyber security threats, as they often lack the resources to build a comprehensive cyber security system, yet they store significant amounts of sensitive data. To learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and your organization, access the Stop.Think.Connect.Toolkit created especially for small businesses. 
Safely surf on! 

 

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